Using Temperature, Light, and Fungicides to Prolong the Storage Life of Rooted Geranium Cuttings

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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture, Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI 48824

Methods of cold storage for rooted cuttings of three cultivars of Pelargonium ×hortorum Bailey were examined. Cuttings were stored from 0 to 10°C for 7 to 56 days. Treatments included packing the cuttings in ice, storing them under irradiance levels of 0 or 50 μmol·m–2·s–1, applying fungicides, varying cutting developmental stages, and varying the day temperatures. Cuttings packed in ice showed signs of chilling injury within 7 days and died. Applications of etridiazole and thiophanate-methyl or metalaxyl and thiophanate-methyl drenches or fosetyl-Al spray did not improve storage performance of the cuttings. Roots of cuttings held 7 additional days in the propagation area before storage grew faster after storage than those of cuttings with less time in the propagation area, but flowering time was not affected. Maintaining night temperatures at 5°C while allowing day temperatures to rise to 10°C delayed flowering by 6 days compared to maintaining a constant 5°C. Rooted cuttings held at 5°C under 50 μmol·m–2·s–1 irradiance for 9 hours each day could be stored up to 56 days with only a 2-day delay in flowering compared to unstored cuttings. Chemicals used were 5-ethoxy-3-trichloromethyl-1,2,4-thiadiazole (etridiazole); thiophanate-methyl (dimethyl[1,2-phenylene)bis(iminocarbonothioyl)]bis[carbamate]) (thiophanate-methyl); N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)-N-methoxyacetyl) alanine methyl ester (metalaxyl); aluminum tris (O-ethyl phosphonate) (fosetyl-Al).

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